panache

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noun pa·nache \pə-ˈnash, -ˈnäsh\

Definition of panache

  1. 1 :  an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet The palace guard had a panache on his helmet.

  2. 2 :  dash or flamboyance in style and action :  verve flashed his … smile and waved with the panache of a big-city mayor — Joe Morgenstern

panache was our Word of the Day on 07/23/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of panache in a Sentence

  1. She played the role of hostess with great panache.

Recent Examples of panache from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panache'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Few can match the panache of French poet and soldier Cyrano de Bergerac. In his dying moments, he declared that the one thing left to him was his panache, and that assertion at once demonstrates the meaning of the word and draws upon its history. Panache derives via Middle French from Late Latin pinnaculum, meaning "small wing" or "gable," a root that also gave English the word pinnacle. In both French and English, panache originally referred to a showy, feathery plume on a hat or helmet; its "dashing" figurative sense developed from the verve and swagger of one bold enough to wear such an adornment in public. When the dying Cyrano turned his huge nose heavenward and spoke of his panache, his nose became the literal and figurative pinnacle of a multifaceted pun.

Illustration of panache

Origin and Etymology of panache

Middle French pennache, from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnaculum small wing — more at pinnacle


PANACHE Defined for English Language Learners

panache

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noun

Definition of panache for English Language Learners

  • : lots of energy and style

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